Top 10 Least Healthy Cities in America

obesityGallup-Healthways surveyed hundreds of thousands of Americans in 189 metropolitan areas in the US in 2012 and 2013. The survey looked at both the physical and emotional health of residents. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is certainly an interesting report to look at and to use as a barometer of healthy living.

As Dan Witters, the research director for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index said, “When you’re talking about obesity, the big three are healthy eating, exercise, and smoking.”

Certainly, the researchers also found a strong connection between emotional wellbeing and physical health. As Witters explained, “Survey participants who were ‘clinically diagnosed with depression had a significantly elevated probability of carrying around obesity.’”

Here is their list of America’s least healthy cities.

10. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Ark.

> Physical Health Index: 72.2

> Obesity rate: 35.1% (5th highest)

9. Spartanburg, S.C.

> Physical Health Index: 71.9

> Obesity rate: 30.0% (34th highest)

8. Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.

> Physical Health Index: 71.7

> Obesity rate: 29.7% (40th highest)

7. Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky.

> Physical Health Index: 71.6

> Obesity rate: 33.8% (8th highest)

6. Fort Smith, Ark.-Okla.

> Physical Health Index: 71.4
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> Obesity rate: 29.8% (38th highest)

5. Redding, Calif.

> Physical Health Index: 71.4

> Obesity rate: 27.6% (82nd highest)

4. Columbus, Ga.-Ala.

> Physical Health Index: 70.7

> Obesity rate: 32.5% (13th highest)

3. Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.

> Physical Health Index: 70.5

> Obesity rate: 30.9% (25th highest)

2. Charleston, W.Va.

> Physical Health Index: 69.0

> Obesity rate: 34.6% (6th highest)

1. Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio

> Physical Health Index: 66.2

> Obesity rate: 39.5% (the highest)

MS Symptoms – Influenced by Weather Changes

Here’s the latest interesting news about multiple sclerosis and weather.  Temperature changes may actually influence the severity of MS symptoms.  This is according to a study published recently in Neurology.

Researchers, looking at the brain patterns of 44 untreated MS patients, found that they were two to three times as likely to have disease activity during spring and summer months.

As author Dominik Meier of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported to BBC News, “Not only were more lesions found during the spring and summer seasons, our study also found that warmer temperatures and solar radiation were linked to disease activity.”
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Up until now, MS was thought to get progressively worse with time.  These weather-influenced findings, however, suggest that MS patterns may change on a regular basis.

ADHD – Only for the Younger Kids in the Class?

Two new interesting U.S. studies point to one of the ways that children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – age as compared to peers.  It appears that children who are younger than their classmates tend to get the diagnosis more often than do their older peers.

The first study, by researchers at North Carolina State University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Minnesota, compared children who were born just before the kindergarten eligibility date and those born just after the eligibility date.  They found a 25% higher rate of ADHD diagnosis in those who were younger in the class.  They used three separate data sources and looked at tens of thousands of children aged seven to 17.

When a doctor evaluates whether a child may have ADHD, one of the frequent questions that is asked is if the behavior seems to be exhibited in their child more often than in others.
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The other study looked at 12,000 children by a Michigan State University economist Todd Elder.  It found that the youngest child in the class is 60% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than is the oldest child in the class.